Car crashes 10m off bank and into ocean

The Southland Times - - News - Ben Bootsma

A car left the road and dropped down a 10m bank be­fore land­ing into the ocean in western South­land on Satur­day.

Tu­at­a­pere po­lice have com­mended the quick think­ing and ac­tion of lo­cals, who helped to res­cue the oc­cu­pants af­ter the car left the road and ended up in the ocean.

The crash was on the Pa­p­a­to­tara Rd, near Tu­at­a­pere and emer­gency ser­vices were no­ti­fied af­ter a mem­ber of the pub­lic heard the crash.

Tu­at­a­pere Po­lice Con­sta­ble Da­mon Tem­ple­ton said the car had failed to turn at the in­ter­sec­tion of Pa­p­a­to­tara and Blue­cliffs Beach Rd and the car en­tered the ocean near the Wa­iau river mouth at road speed.

‘‘One mem­ber of the pub­lic got in the water and two peo­ple got out [of the car] un­der their own steam.

‘‘One was dis­ori­en­tated, they as­sisted them out of the water and con­firmed there was no one else in the ve­hi­cle,’’ Tem­ple­ton said.

The car had trav­elled a sub­stan­tial dis­tance as there was a drop of about 10 me­tres from the road side to the water, where the car had landed, Tem­ple­ton said.

All three oc­cu­pants of the car were taken to South­land Hospi­tal with mod­er­ate in­juries.

The road was not a hot spot for crashes and En­vi­ron­ment South­land had been con­tacted to be­gin re­triev­ing the car from the river mouth, Tem­ple­ton said.

Po­lice could not com­ment at this stage on whether al­co­hol was a fac­tor in the crash. In­quiries are con­tin­u­ing.

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